Beijing - Post Report Question and Answers

Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?

I have heard that expats of color, particularly Asian-Americans, have sometimes encountered issues. I don't want to speak for others regarding their interactions. As a white woman, I'm generally treated courteously, but I don't presume that my experience is universal. - Nov 2021

Maybe not more than other places but many Chinese people will tell you that racism doesn't exist in China. In my opinion, this bold face denial is a big part of the problem. - Nov 2020

Yes. In my opinion, people of African descent will likely face harassment or discrimination in Beijing, as will Americans of Asian descent. - Aug 2020

There is some discrimination toward blacks. Asian-American diplomats may be mistaken for Chinese and treated differently than their colleagues. - Jul 2020

There can be - but most folks seem to be okay. - May 2020

Not that I have seen in five months. - Oct 2017

This is an unusual aspect of life in China. Most Chinese people, especially those you are likely to interact with in the retail/service industry, have never been abroad and can probably count the number of long conversations they've had with a foreigner on one hand. Usually this translates to friendly curiosity, especially if you speak Chinese. There are downsides: you will never blend in, they will always treat you like you need to have your hand held through everything, you will have your photo taken A LOT, and most frustratingly, you will find that cabs CONSTANTLY pass you up on the street. Cabbies never speak English here, are often very rough, and generally don't want to deal with us "laowai." - Dec 2015

We are an African-American family and do not find any prejudices. The Chinese are very INTERESTED in how different we look, and often try to touch our hair or stare... but my personal opinion is that it is just because they don't see people that don't look like them very much and not a prejudice. - Apr 2015

No religion per se in China. I sometimes go to a so-called church but it's really not a church like you might think of. No masses either. There are Buddhist temples around for the locals to make wishes and burn incense. For me, the smoke is too much and my lungs just choke up around it, kind of like an intense second hand smoke. - Aug 2014

I haven't suffered any problems, but my friends who are African-American have had people say some very rude things to them. The government here does make a point of separating foreign places of worship from Chinese ones. - Jul 2014

For expats, not that I've heard. - Jun 2013

Definitely, all of the above. Almost everyone here sees dollar signs light up over foreigners' heads and take every opportunity to bilk you for more money. Most Chinese also very much dislike black people. Women are considered inferior to men. Gatherings (religious services, etc.) are prohibited without advance approval; the government actively persecutes followers of Falun Gong. - Aug 2011

Nope... I am sure if I were to press the issue in regards to religion it would become one really quick. - Apr 2011

Yes, definitely. You are "laowai" and while Chinese are unfailingly polite in business and friendship, you will never be one of them. - Jan 2011

There are no real racial or gender issues that I've noticed. But you will be stared at and photographed incessantly if you stand out physically in any way. - Apr 2010

Not so much gender prejudice. Religion is a difficult issue in China, and so is race. - Jan 2010


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